The key to numbat presence is an abundance of termites, their primary food. The second prerequisite seems to be adequate ground-level cover, in the form of thickets of dense vegetation or hollow logs, which provides a refuge from predators. Primary predators would have been diurnal raptors, but foxes are now the major force driving extinction of populations. Hollow logs, which provide complete protection from larger predators, are probably more important in the presence of foxes. Numbats formerly occupied a variety of vegetation types, from open forest to woodland to hummock grasslands in the arid zone, although most sites had eucalypt trees.

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